Dunlop says he was dishonest in evidence to Flood tribunal
‘I became dishonest in 2000 when asked a question in the tribunal about a bank account and I didn’t give a truthful answer’
Frank Dunlop told a court today he kept a large stash of money, between £75,000 and £80,000 to be ‘dished out’ during a time when a motion was being passed in May 1992.
A former political lobbyist has told a trial he was dishonest while giving evidence during the Flood tribunal and had a “war chest of funds” bank account and money stashed at his home.
Frank Dunlop made the admissions during the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial of three former councillors and a sitting councillor who are accused of receiving corrupt payments in relation to council votes that took place in June 1992 and October 1997.
Businessman James Kennedy (66) is charged with making the payments. Mr Kennedy of Cormorant Way, Queens Quay, Gibraltar, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of making corrupt payments between June 1992 and October 1997 to members of Dublin County Council to rezone land at Carrickmines as industrial.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown county councillor Tony Fox (72) Mountainview Park, Churchtown, Dublin, and former councillors Colm Mc Grath (56) of Swiftwood, Saggart; Donal Lydon (74) of Santo Antonio, Stillorgan Park Avenue, and Liam Cosgrave (57) of Merrion Park, Blackrock, have pleaded not guilty to corruptly receiving money at various locations in Dublin on dates in June 1992 and October 1997 as inducements to rezone lands as industrial.
Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, has already told the jury evidence will be heard that Mr Kennedy corruptly gave money to named councillors through Mr Dunlop so that votes could be secured in relation to the rezoning of lands owned by Mr Kennedy.
Under cross-examination by Michael O’Higgins SC, defending Mr Kennedy, Mr Dunlop (65) admitted he was dishonest for two days during the Flood tribunal in April 2000 when he was questioned about a bank account.
“I don’t believe I told a lot of lies,” said Mr Dunlop in reply when Mr O’Higgins questioned whether the witness was an honest person.
“I was not always honest,” he said, “I became dishonest in 2000 when asked a question in the tribunal about a bank account and I didn’t give a truthful answer.”
Mr Dunlop claims, on the advice of Mr Justice Flood at the time, that he had “told the truth and the whole truth” after being dishonest for a number of days about a “war chest” bank account.
He also admitted he “scrubbed out” items in his diaries because “they were personal business matters.” When Mr O’Higgins put it to Mr Dunlop that he has a “couple of dodgy bank accounts,” Mr Dunlop agreed.
“One of these was at AIB in Rathfarnham,” suggested Mr O’Higgins. “It was in the name of Shefran (a name combining his wife Sheila and his name) and it was steeped in dishonesty.”
Mr Dunlop replied: “Monies I received from other people, which would be concealed from everyone, including Revenue, were lodged in the account.” “It was a war chest for funds or distribution,” he admitted. “It was dishonest.”
However, he consistently claimed the £25,000 he allegedly received from Mr Kennedy was kept at his home, despite telling the Flood tribunal it was his belief an £80,000 lodgement to his account was likely including the £25,000.
Mr O’Higgins questioned why then he agreed at the Tribunal that the money was likely to be part of an £80,000 lodgement. Mr Dunlop replied “I don’t know. It’s not logical.” The court heard Mr Dunlop had told the tribunal he “certainly did not retain large amounts of money” at his home for a long time on “a danger point of view.”
He claimed during the tribunal he would not have more than £5,000 in cash at his home for a day or two or even 24-hours Mr O’Higgins said “there are lies being told here and I’d like you to do us a favour and tell the truth”.
Mr Dunlop said the truth is he received cash from Mr Kennedy and kept it at his home and dispersed it in accordance with the evidence he has already given.
Mr Dunlop agreed with counsel he kept a large stash of money, between £75,000 and £80,000, at his house to be “dished out,” during a time when a motion was being passed on May 12th, 1992 to have lands owned by Mr Kennedy at Carrickmines re-zoned as residential or industrial.
The trial continues before Judge Mary Ellen Ring and a jury of eight women and four men. It is expected to last until the end of this month.